Surviving Miscarriage & PCOS: Lauren’s Story

surviving-miscarriage

Each week I interview someone who has experienced infertility firsthand. This week I’m chatting with Lauren from Every Little Moment. Her unique combination and personal and professional experience with infertility means she has a lot of wisdom to share. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.

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Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Lauren and I live in Baltimore with my husband and two dogs. I am a huge animal lover and our dogs are our fur children. My husband is Australian and we met while I was studying abroad in Sydney.  I was supposed to be there for 5 months and I ended up staying for almost 5 years! We moved back to the States and got married in 2008.

I love cooking and living a healthy lifestyle has become really important to me after being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in 2007. I am not a vegetarian, but I love eating vegetables! Summer is my favorite time of year because I love the beach and I am at our local farmer’s market every weekend. I recently started a blog about my life and infertility journey at Every Little Moment.

Q. How long have you been trying to conceive and what issues are you facing?

We have been trying to get pregnant since September 2012. I was previously diagnosed with PCOS, so we knew getting pregnant might be challenging. I had hoped that losing weight and making positive lifestyle changes would help me be able to get pregnant naturally, but that didn’t seem to be the case. After trying to conceive for a year, we sought the help of a reproductive endocrinologist and planned to get started right away with timed intercourse and IUI cycles. While we were completing all of the testing required to start treatment, we found out that we had gotten pregnant naturally. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and I haven’t been able to get pregnant since then, despite having 1 timed intercourse and 5 IUI cycles. We just moved to IVF in January and I am having my first frozen embryo transfer very soon!

surviving-miscarriage

Q. You have a master’s degree in Reproductive Health and Human Genetics and worked at an IVF clinic before you realized that you yourself would experience infertility. How has your education and work experience shaped your experience as a patient? [Read more…]

Updates & Link Up #46

A couple of updates today…

Card Swap

If you signed up for my Spring Card Swap, you should’ve received an email from me with your match’s information.  Please let me know if you have not received your email!

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)

You may have noticed that yesterday’s post was my first post for NIAW this year.  Dozens of bloggers will be writing posts designed to educate and encourage.  Be sure to check out the NIAW 2015 blogroll to see all the posts. Also, in honor of NIAW, I’m setting the price of my eBook, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility, to “pay-what-you-want.” You can pay any price ($1 or higher, my shopping cart service won’t let me accept anything lower than $1) and download the ebook.  I’ll be raising the price back to normal on Monday, 4/27.

Also, I made a Facebook cover photo for NIAW.  Feel free to download it and put it on your own Facebook page.  If you have trouble with the sizing, crop it to 851px x 315px.

NIAW-2015-FB-cover

[Read more…]

You Are Not Alone: 90+ Infertility Bloggers Who Share Their Stories

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Infertility can make you feel so isolated- especially if you don’t know anyone else going through struggles similar to yours.  But finding community during infertility is critical.  When we connect with others, we help bear their burdens and our own burdens are lightened in the process.

So, where can you find community if you don’t know anyone else experiencing infertility?  I found it in the blogging world.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women sharing their stories and experiences online every day.  Their stories helped me see that I wasn’t the only one going through infertility.  They gave me support and encouraged, and most importantly, hope.

 

The incredible thing is that after I started blogging myself, people in my offline life started approaching me and telling me their own infertility stories.  I even discovered that someone I saw on a daily basis was going through IVF at the same time I was.  I had no clue before!

In order to help you find your own community online, I’ve compiled a list of active infertility bloggers from all walks of life and situations.  They’re a mix of blogs that I read regularly and other bloggers who wanted to be included in this list.  Pick a few that resonate with you and start to read them regularly.  You might be surprised at how much it helps to ease that sense of isolation.  You are not alone!

* Indicates that at the time this post was published, this blogger is currently pregnant or parenting after infertility. Please be aware of this if you are not in a good place to read these types of posts.  I tried to do my best to be complete in placing the asterisks, but please forgive me if I inadvertently missed one.

General Infertility

Adoption After Infertility

Other Bloggers Who Occasionally Blog About Their Infertility / Adoption Stories

You might also want to check out my collection of 60+ interviews with men and women who have experienced infertility firsthand.  Many of them are bloggers on this list.  Their wisdom, advice, and encouragement is invaluable!

For more information about infertility and National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), check out the following links:

Are you an infertility blogger not on this list?  Do you read a blog I missed?  Please feel free to share links to other blogs in the comments below!

This post is linked up with Monday Musings // Mommy Moments // Modest Monday // Mama Moments Monday // Making Your Home Sing // Making a Home // Titus 2sDay // Bowl Full of Lemons

Nutrition for Fertility: Ask an Expert

Each week I interview someone who has personal or professional experience with infertility.  This week, I’m pleased to be chatting with Hillary Wright.  Hillary is a registered and licensed dietitian with over two decades of experience counseling clients on diet and lifestyle change. She is the Director of Nutrition Counseling for the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF, where she specializes in nutrition and women’s health issues, and is the author of  The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and The Pre-diabetes Diet Plan: How to Reverse Pre-diabetes and Prevent Diabetes through Healthy Eating and Exercise. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter. 

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Q. What are some common nutrition mistakes you see infertility patients make?

I think the most common mistake is to focus on specific foods that some believe may affect their fertility instead looking at the big picture. For example, while they’re certainly an important part of a healthy diet, I often get questions about whether specific fruits or vegetables may harm or enhance fertility, like whether wild yams can improve fertility or soy possibly harm hormonal balance needed to ovulate and conceive. At the same time, some of these women or their partners may be significantly overweight, inactive or drinking too much alcohol. Individual foods don’t overwhelmingly influence health on their own, but when eaten as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle can synergistically contribute to an environment that nurtures healthy reproductive cells and promotes hormonal balance. The most positive thing a woman — or man — can do for their fertility is adopt a lifestyle that’s defensive against inflammation, oxidation and toxic influences. Eating at least five fruits and vegetables daily (preferably more); ample amounts of healthy fats and lean proteins, including omega-3’s from fatty fish and plant proteins from legumes, soy, nuts and seeds; and limiting caffeine, alcohol and high mercury fish, sends a positive message to your body that this is a good place to be pregnant. Losing weight if necessary, or gaining if you’re underweight, are also really important issues to address if your struggling with infertility.

Q. What do you recommend to people who want to eat better but are picky eaters?

While we’re all entitled to our food preferences, many people decide at an early age that they just don’t eat certain foods. Tastes do change over time, but if you never retry foods you think you don’t like, you’ll never discover that. In my experience, many people adopt an “I don’t eat that” attitude as a result of something that was over-cooked or forced on them at a young age, vegetables often being a major offender. I think the best way around this is to try something prepared completely differently than you had it before — maybe roasting cauliflower, or sauteing broccoli in olive oil and garlic, instead of a blander form of preparation like boiling or steaming. I also encourage people to try things in restaurants or friend’s houses to experiment with flavors, which may then lead to adding more of these foods at home. It is important for people to realize that if their diet is limited and they’re not willing to take any risks, it’s unlikely their diet will improve enough to really influence their health.  [Read more…]

Clearblue Ovulation Test & HPT Giveaway!

I love giveaways!  Who doesn’t like getting something free in the mail?  Today I’m really happy to be giving away a Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown and a Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test.

When you’re trying to conceive on your own, it’s crucial figure out when you’re most likely to ovulate.  An ovulation test like Clearblue’s Advanced Digital Ovulation Test can help you do just that.  According to the information Clearblue sent me, the test usually identifies your four most fertile days.  It also tracks both the luteinizing hormone and estrogen hormones.  Apparently most ovulation tests only track one of those, so tracking both gives this test a slight advantage.  Finally, it gives you easy-to-read results, with a smiley face indicating you’re good-to-go!

clearblue-ovulation-test

After using the Ovulation Test to help you determine the best timing, you’ll want to take a pregnancy test when your two-week-wait comes to an end.  One of the worst things about taking a home pregnancy test (HPT) is waiting for the test to give you results.  My personal routine goes something like this:  Pee on test, place test on counter, stare at test with my nose two inches from test for 5 minutes praying that a positive indicator would show up, tearfully throw away test when it was negative, return to trash can two hours later to dig up test because I had convinced myself I didn’t wait long enough to test to develop properly.

Well, the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown will save you the humiliating step of digging around in the trash can!  It has a countdown that lets you know the progress of the test while you wait for results.  No more wondering if you waited too long or not enough.  Such a time-saver and sanity-saver!  I really wish I’d tried these when my hubby and I were still trying on our own.

clearblue-ovulation-test

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is use the Rafflecopter widget below.  (Click here if you can’t see it or if you’re using a mobile device).  The giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on my link, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). I was not compensated to run this giveaway and received no free products. All information and descriptions of the prizes comes from information Clearblue sent me.

Images courtesy of ClearBlueEasy.com